In Acts 20, Paul is leaving Macedonia and Greece to deliver an offering that the churches had taken up for the believers in Jerusalem. In verse four, the text says, “He was accompanied by…” and then lists seven names.
I got to thinking about that statement: “He was accompanied by.” It actually communicates a great deal to us. First off, it affirms the obvious—Paul was not alone. Right from the beginning, God knew that it wasn’t good for men or women to be alone (Genesis 2:18). When we try to do life as the Lone Ranger, we are not in balance.
We need people. We need people to provide counsel, comfort, encouragement, direction, love, and joy to our lives. We were meant to cry and laugh with others. God’s plan was for human beings to be in community and care for one another in all of the ways specified in the New Testament.
And in Acts 20, Luke spells out the names of the seven men who accompanied Paul on His journey. They weren’t just nameless folk who caught the same boat. There was Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundas, Gaius, Timothy, Tychicus, and Trophimus.
These were men that Paul knew well. Some traveled with him, others pastored with him, and several were persecuted right alongside him. All were men of character, and each of them likely had deep love and respect for the Apostle Paul.
What caught my attention was their names, or more specifically, what their names mean. If you were choosing traveling companions, you would most likely choose people who were a joy to be around. You would want men or women surrounding you that would make the trip a little less arduous.
Aristarchus’ name means “the perfect source.” He was a friend with resources and a willingness to share. Secundas’ name means “favorable.” No doubt, he was a joy to be around—along with Gaius, whose name means “one who rejoices.”
Timothy was a like a son to Paul. He called him his “true son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2). Paul leaned on Timothy for spiritual resources, so it’s not surprising to note that his name means “honoring God.”
Tychicus was a beloved brother (Ephesians 6:21-22) whose name means “good fortune.” What a blessing to labor with someone who has a lilt to their step! Lastly, Paul was accompanied by Trophimus, which means “well brought up.” Here’s a buddy who knows how to live!
You and I are ACCOMPANIED too. We have God’s blessings surrounding us in all kinds of relationships. We motor through our lives with buddies, pals, friends and BFFs everywhere. Maybe this week is a great opportunity to thank the Lord for all of those relationships and to spend some time valuing their contribution to our lives.
Thanks to God’s grace, we are accompanied!
|Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. |
Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.